Last updated on May 11th, 2022
‘How much compensation for anxiety after a car accident?’ is a common question road accident victims ask, and it’s a very valid question too.
We generally tend to focus only on the physical injuries after a car accident. The truth however, is that accidents almost always cause some amount of mental trauma. This may manifest in a variety of ways and have a significant impact on your ability to live a normal life.
If you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation for all injuries, physical as well as mental. This includes anxiety.
Here’s what you should know about claiming compensation for anxiety after car accident.
Common Symptoms Of Anxiety After A Car Accident
The symptoms of anxiety can range from a mild sense of unease and worry to debilitating panic attacks.
Travel anxiety is one of the most notable symptoms as a result of a car accident. Travel anxiety can take various forms. Some people experience a build-up of anxiety symptoms before getting into the car. Others may experience panic attacks and have difficulty breathing while they are sitting in a car.
Travel anxiety can make it difficult for victims to move past the car accident and continue traveling as before. These problems may last for only a few weeks or they could continue to haunt the victim for months or even years after the accident. Very often, the intensity of the symptoms gets worse at the thought of getting into a car.
Other symptoms of anxiety may include a combination of physical, mental and behavioural symptoms such as:
- Physical Symptoms: difficulty breathing, headaches, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, loss of appetite, digestive distress.
- Mental Symptoms: feeling constantly worried, tense, on edge, alert, or fearful, persistent sleeplessness or nightmares, flash backs.
- Behavioural Symptoms: unable to relax, unwind, and enjoy leisure time, difficulty staying focused, easily angered, hesitant to try new things.
Any of these can have life-long repercussions on your health and well-being and can lower your quality of life.
While anxiety after a car accident is quite common, it should never be ignored. Neither is it something to be embarrassed about. It can also be really beneficial to speak to a mental health professional if you experience anxiety in any form after a car accident.
Calculating Compensation For Anxiety After A Car Accident
There is no set compensation payout that’s awarded for a personal injury, including anxiety. Instead, compensation is calculated based on the type of injury and how severe it is, and the impact on the claimant’s life. Also taken into account is if the injury has cost you financially. Factors such as travel expenses for treatment, loss of earning, prescription costs etc are also calculated and included in the final settlement amount where applicable.
In the case of calculating compensation for anxiety specifically, the Judicial College publishes guidelines for general damages in personal injury claims. Shown below are compensation amounts based on those guidelines that you might see paid out for anxiety after a car accident. However, we need to be clear that travel anxiety specifically, with no physical injuries or recognised psychiatric injuries, won’t attract compensation.
Compensation For Travel Anxiety + Minor Injuries
- £1,370 to £2,450 for travel anxiety and minor injuries where a full recovery is made within 3 months.
- £690 to £1,370 for travel anxiety and minor injuries where a full recovery is made within 28 days.
- A few hundred £’s to £690 for travel anxiety and minor injuries where a full recovery is made within 7 days.
Compensation For Psychiatric Damage Generally
- £54,830 to £115,730 compensation for severe psychiatric damage from a car accident that might include relationships being affected, problems coping with life, and a very poor future prognosis.
- £19,070 to £54,830 compensation for moderately severe psychiatric damage where there’s significant problems but the prognosis is generally more optimistic.
- £5,860 to £19,070 compensation for moderate psychiatric damage where there might be some issues with ability in coping with life, for example, but the prognosis is positive.
- £1,540 to £5,860 compensation for psychiatric damage that is considered less severe.
If you’re suffering from a more severe psychiatric injury such as PTSD, you may wish to visit this page for advice on PTSD claims and compensation amounts.
You may also like to make use of our compensation calculator below for compensation levels for various other physical injuries that you might have received in the car accident along with anxiety.
Claiming Compensation For Anxiety After A Car Accident
Anxiety after a car accident may be invisible but it can throw your life off track long after the physical injuries have healed. However, winning a compensation claim is dependent on being able to provide irrefutable proof of injuries. Unfortunately, because the symptoms of anxiety are not visible, this can prove to be challenging. This is where a personal injury solicitor’s experience and expertise can help.
A personal injury solicitor is the best person to advise you as to what to do next. Our solicitors are experts in this area of the law and have vast experience in helping other car accident victims get compensated for their injuries. They also have a large network of experts who they can reach out to for legal and medical advice. They will ask a competent medical professional to assess your symptoms and provide a clinical diagnosis supporting your claim. They will use all the resources they have to put together a strong claim that in our opinion will boost your chances of winning the maximum compensation due to you.
In addition to all of the above, a personal injury solicitor will also file your injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This can be of invaluable help as it means you don’t need to worry about how to finance your claim.
How A No Win No Fee Agreement Works
Our No Win No Fee agreement works essentially exactly the way it sounds. If we don’t win the claim for anxiety and you’re not awarded compensation, you don’t pay anything. You only pay if the claim has been settled in your favour and compensation has been received.
As part of our No Win No Fee agreement, you also don’t pay any upfront fees. This means you don’t take any financial risks at all. This is one less thing for you to worry about, which can be a huge factor in not exacerbating any existing anxiety symptoms.
So, how much do you pay? How much you would pay on a successful claim is calculated as a percentage of the compensation awarded. You are never out of pocket at any time as the fee is deducted directly out of the compensation.
Important Things To Know About Claiming Compensation For Anxiety After Car Accident
- You could claim compensation for anxiety even if you haven’t suffered any physical injuries. In a personal injury claim, every injury is assessed on its own merit. Anxiety doesn’t necessarily ensue only when a person is physically injured. You may be traumatised by a ‘near-miss’ accident even though there are no broken bones or other visible injuries.
- You may be entitled to compensation for anxiety after car accident even if you are a secondary victim. A secondary victim is someone who witnessed the accident or the aftermath of the accident. A secondary victim is also someone close to the primary victim who has been affected by the events.
- Always consult with a mental health expert if possible after a car accident even if you think you don’t have anxiety. For one thing, the symptoms may be unrecognisable until they become more persistent or more serious. Secondly, your sessions will be taken into consideration when determining whether or not you are eligible for compensation for anxiety. Your mental health professionals anxiety diagnosis and notes of how it is affecting your life will help add weight to your claim.
- You should never accept the first offer of compensation from the offending driver’s insurance company. Most insurance companies will try and contact you and offer you settlement in exchange for considering the matter ‘closed’. When you do this, you are effectively signing off your right to claim compensation at a later date. This means even if your anxiety persists long after the car accident or gets worse, you won’t be able to claim for more compensation.
If you would like to know how much compensation for anxiety after a car accident you could claim for, please call 0800 6524 881 and an advisor or solicitor will answer any questions you have.